Royal Caribbean Cancels at Least Another Month of Labadee Visits

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Royal Caribbean International has begun reaching out to guests booked on further upcoming visits to their private destination in Haiti – Labadee – to inform them that their itineraries have changed and the port of call has been removed.

This is in addition to recent cancellations of the port that were being evaluated on an individual basis, and now appears to affect sailings at least for the next month.

Labadee Visits Continue to Be Cancelled

With tensions in Haiti not appearing to ease in the near future, Royal Caribbean International is making the bold move to preemptively cancel calls to its private destination of Labadee at least a month in advance.

This gives the cruise line ample time to arrange alternative ports of call as well as to notify impacted guests so they can adjust their travel plans if desired. While changing any itinerary on short notice is not ideal, the safety of guests and crew members is the top priority.

All ships sailing to Labadee – which is a popular port of call on nearly all of the cruise line’s Eastern Caribbean itineraries – are impacted. Depending on the ship, sailing date, and cruise route, a variety of alternatives are being confirmed.

It should be noted that these itinerary changes are being made “in an abundance of caution” and not because of any direct violence reported in Labadee.

Royal Caribbean Ship in Labadee, Haiti
Royal Caribbean Ship in Labadee, Haiti (Photo Credit: Solarisys)

It is always the cruise line’s goal to keep everyone safe as well as to offer fulfilling port experiences. With the “evolving situation” in Haiti, this is not possible in Labadee at the moment. Royal Caribbean had previously cancelled a wide range of shore excursions to keep guests closer to the port area, and such a visit does not offer much for visitors to choose from.

Various Alternatives Offered

Instead of Labadee, Royal Caribbean is arranging different options that will have minimal impact on guests’ cruise itineraries. These options vary for different ships and sailing dates, and must factor in port berth availability, sailing time, and other considerations.

Explorer of the Seas‘ 5-night cruise from Miami departing on March 31, for example, will now call at Grand Cayman in lieu of Labadee, and will also enjoy a longer visits to Falmouth, Jamaica. Meanwhile the ship’s April 14 departure will also have extra time in Jamaica but will be visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay rather than Labadee.

Likewise, Independence of the Seas‘ April 4 departure from Miami – which was only supposed to visit Labadee, with no other ports of call – will now visit Grand Turk, while the rest of the time at sea is not affected.

Pier at Labadee, Haiti
Pier at Labadee, Haiti (Photo Credit: kanndibimbam)

Odyssey of the Seas‘ March 24 departure from Fort Lauderdale will now visit Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic – 110 miles (178 kilometers) east of Labadee, across a heavily guarded international border between the countries. At this time, no cruise lines are adjusting visits to the Dominican Republic, as the border is secure and those destinations are not impacted.

Where alternative ports are not feasible, particularly on longer sailings that may already include CocoCay and other nearby ports, the cruise may instead substitute a day at sea or a second day at CocoCay. This is the case for Oasis of the Seas‘ March 31 departure from Miami, a 7-night cruise that is already visiting Nassau, CocoCay, and Jamaica. The ship will now enjoy two full days at CocoCay.

Read Also: 30 Things to Know About Perfect Day at CocoCay (2024)

Regardless of the alternatives, all pre-paid Royal Caribbean International shore tours booked for Labadee will be automatically cancelled and refunded to guests’ onboard accounts. These credits will be fully refundable and returned to the card on file if there is any amount remaining after the cruise.

Undoubtedly Royal Caribbean will be closely monitoring the situation and will reinstate visits to Labadee as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so. Any travelers with port visits to Labadee in the coming months will want to stay in touch with the cruise line for updates affecting their sailing, and remain flexible with their travel plans and expectations.

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